6 Practical Ideas to Calm Your Mind During Times of Stress

Here are 6 easy-to-follow ways to renew your mind during times of stress.

You’ve been feeling super stressed or super overwhelmed by all the things, and you know that what you really need to do is sit down and calm your mind down. Give some time to yourself, take a break, and spend some intentional time calming down, renewing your mind, and doing the things you know will bring you peace. 

But when you sit down, you have no idea what to do. If you’ve ever had that experience, I want to share six practical ideas to calm your mind or renew your mind during times of stress. 

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I don’t know about you, but when I need the most peace and when I need to calm down, I have a hard time doing it. Sometimes it’s because I’m so overwhelmed and need to take a beat, pause, and process some emotion to get to the point where I can be calm. 

Many times it’s just that I have no idea what to do to calm down. I have this experience all the time, especially as a single mom, where I will have a rare moment when I have no kids around and don’t know what to do with myself. 

I tell myself if I could just get a moment alone, I could relax and chill out. Then I get that and I have no idea what to do with myself. Do you have the same experience and struggle? Please tell me I am not alone. 

Over the years of being intentional about learning to manage my emotions, learning to handle stress better, and understanding the importance of renewing my mind, I have found a few things that have become my go-to during seasons when I’m stressed or super overwhelmed. 

Before we get started, I want to give you a quick summary of what I mean when I say calm your mind or renew your mind. The Bible says that you are to be transformed by the renewal of your mind. You’re not supposed to look like the world. You’re supposed to renew your mind by spending time in God’s word. 

So that you know the truth. Scripture is where you find biblical principles that apply to your life and help you walk out your Christian faith. All of that is wonderful, but sometimes we tend to get too super spiritual about things. 

Today, when I say renew your mind, what I really want you to think about is taking some time to calm down, find peace,  control your thoughts, and rein those in so that you don’t feel so stressed and overwhelmed. 

The goal here is to calm down and find peace, but it’s also to distract yourself from focusing on the thing that’s causing you a lot of stress or causing you to feel a lot of overwhelm so that you can relax and calm down. 

Ways to Renew Your Mind #1: Memorizing Scripture

The first thing that I want to start with is memorizing scripture. I know I said not to get super spiritual, but there are a lot of spiritual disciplines that you can do that are practical and helpful for you when you’re trying to calm or control your thoughts.

Memorizing scripture is one of the best ways that I know to find peace. If you are like, LaToya, I suck at memorizing. I know it’s not my best thing either, but you can do it. You can practice it and use little tips and tricks to help you. 

Here’s why memorizing scripture helps you, as you begin to focus on the word of God eventually what should happen, and what has happened for me, is that those words and that truth drown out all of the other things that are going on in your mind. 

All of the thoughts that you are having that might be negative or rob you of your hope and peace, will get quieter the more that you fill your mind with God’s word. 

Ways to Renew Your Mind #2:  Music

The second thing that I want to encourage you to do is to listen to music. Any music will do, but I  want to focus today on worship songs and classical music. Listening to worship music is going to do something very similar to scripture. 

It’s going to help fill your mind with good, beautiful, and wonderful things because good worship music is focused on God. Who he is, what he’s done, and what he has promised to do. When you can get your mind focused on God instead of your problems, that’s really going to allow you to have peace. 

Classical music also does the same thing. It’s very soothing because it doesn’t have any words in it. This means you can just focus on the notes, the melodies, and the instruments instead of ruminating on your troubles.

If you are highly sensitive or introverted, you may deeply connect to music. I am deeply moved by music. I feel it deep in my heart and soul. Music takes me on an emotional journey. I can feel joyful, melancholy, sad, or excited depending on what song I am listening to. It helps me find peace and process my feelings.

A little caveat here. If you are the kind of person who is calmed down by hard rock or really loud music, go for it. There are some times where I need something really loud, with a lot of bass and a good beat to calm down. 

I do want to encourage you to include some worship songs and classical music in your playlist and see how you feel when you’re listening to different types of music. You’ll probably find that there are specific songs and genres of music that help based on how you’re feeling. Sometimes you need that angry song to process your angry feelings.

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Ways to Renew Your Mind #3: Audiobooks

The third thing to help you calm your mind is audiobooks. Same purpose as listening to music – you want to distract yourself from what you’re thinking about and stressing over. Another awesome thing about audiobooks is that they allow you to get lost in another story or someone else’s journey. 

Instead of being focused on all the things that might not be going great in your life, you can get lost in a whole other world and universe which gives you a break and an escape from what’s bothering you right now. 

Ways to Renew Your Mind #4: Space to Think

Next, I want you to figure out how to give yourself space to just think your thoughts. Around here, we are really big on feeling your feels and thinking your thoughts. Sometimes the stress and overwhelm are because you are overthinking about all the things all of the time. 

Then you start overthinking about the fact that you’re overthinking about all the things. Try to find a way to give yourself space to just think your thoughts. I know that sounds weird, but what I mean is find activities that you can do where you don’t have to engage your brain so much so that your thoughts can just flow. 

Sometimes you have all this stuff in your head and if you can give yourself a few minutes (or an hour) to just think the thoughts, then they go away. You might realize that you don’t need to worry about something or that it wasn’t overwhelming or stressful then you can let that go and find peace. 

There are many activities that you can do like knitting or sewing. That is not my jam, I can’t thread a needle, but if you’re good at that stuff, knitting and sewing are great ways to keep your hands busy so that your mind can be free to just think thoughts or think nothing. 

One of the reasons why I love painting is because when I’m painting I am not thinking about anything that’s bothering me. I am just focused on the paint and the paper and the brushes and I find peace. 

Sometimes I’m able to think through something that has been on my mind for a long time and just kind of resolve that in my head so I don’t have to spend any more of my energy or time thinking about that. 

Gardening is a great thing as well because being outside is grounding. Also, getting your hands in the dirt caring for the plants, and watering and weeding is a great way to free your mind. I do some of my best thinking on my daily walks. 

Doing laundry, dishes, or other chores can be a great distraction from whatever is causing you to feel overwhelmed and stressed. It will allow you to explore your thoughts and hopefully sort them out. 

The last thing that I want to encourage you to do, which should be no surprise, is journaling. It is one of the best ways to understand what you’re thinking, know what you’re thinking, evaluate what you’re thinking, and decide what you need to do about the thoughts that you’re having. 

Find some way to give yourself space and time to think your thoughts all the way through so that you can decide if it’s a thought you need to keep thinking. Maybe you just want to think so your brain will free up space and you’re no longer stressed or overwhelmed about that. 

Ways to Renew Your Mind #5: Affirmations

The fifth thing is affirmations. What I want you to do here with affirmations is to spend some time finding truth statements. Whatever you are stressed out about or whatever is making you feel overwhelmed, find the truth about those things. 

What does scripture say about you? What does scripture say about whatever you’re facing? Find those things, because, in the moments when your mind wants to go down the rabbit hole of all the terrible things that can happen, it is so helpful to have affirmations or statements of truth that you can look at and read and think about instead.

When I have moments where feel like I can’t do this, I’m not qualified, I’m not good enough, I’m not skilled enough, and I’m not smart enough, I go back to the verses that I have learned. The ones I have memorized and meditated on and I turn them into affirmations. 

I remind myself, that I have every good thing that I need to do the works that God has called me to do (Psalms 84:11). I sit down and take a minute or two and tell myself the truth over and over so that my brain can get with it. Flip that negative switch to something that’s going to be helpful. 

Ways to Renew Your Mind #6: Practice Gratitude

The final thing that I want to encourage you to do is to learn to practice gratitude. Instead of thinking about all of the things that are going wrong, all the things that could go wrong, all the ways that things could go wrong, just sit down and have a moment where you look around and you find things to be grateful for. 

Find ways to go to God and say “I’m so glad and thankful for this.” When you can focus on those things, those negative and stressful things take up less of your attention, less space in your mind, and less of your energy.

Final Thoughts on Ways to Renew Your Mind

If you are in a situation where you’re trying all these things and it’s just not working, please know that I am here for you. This is exactly what I do with my coaching clients. I will help you learn how to feel your feelings, identify what you’re feeling, process those feelings, and do something about those feelings. 

Usually, the thing that you have to do about what you’re feeling is to see what you’re thinking that’s causing you to feel this way. Once you can identify that, you can begin to do some journaling and some other coaching exercises that will help you learn how to control your thoughts. 

When you have a thought that’s not serving you well you’ll learn how to change that into something new. If you want help and support for that be sure to sign up for a mindset coaching session with me. 

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Which of these ways to renew your mind will you try first?

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